Friday, August 15, 2008

The Couch Potato turned Mouse Potato Still Digs THE Potato

So I am an ultimate couch potato. I can do movie marathons and even TV series marathons in one long sitting. As I often say, I have the tendency to obsess.

But these days, I’ve become a “netizen”—a denizen of the net. Moreover, I’ve become a mouse potato. Although technically, I am not using any mouse as I am reduced to a touch pad and my pointer finger, but you get the idea.

The computer has become my constant companion. Using it has been elevated from being a habit to being life.

However, this afternoon, I was able to go out and explore another side of life. The non-cyber kind. And although I’ve already killed time in a toy store two days ago, I didn’t mind going to the same toy store today.

As always, I tried to find Mr. Potato Head among the shelves. Mr. Potato Head is in my list of favorite toys. (Looking back, I forgot to include the Magic 8 Ball in that list!) He’s not worth the money but he’s cute. I once “stalked” him at Toy Kingdom and took a photo as discretely as I could.

A quick Mr. Potato Head history: A guy named George Learner invented the toy in the 1950s. Learner used to make toys out of real potatoes for his younger sisters to play with. Later, Learner sold the potato head idea to the Hassenfeld Brothers (Hasbro) who became the distributors of the toy.

Mr. Potato Head’s original look was patterned after George Learner’s dad. The early “Potato Head toy” sold consists only of eyes, ears, nose and mouth. It is up to the customer to get his own real potato to dress up. Someone must have noticed how absurd it was selling a set of face when there is no potato to make the head, and so a plastic potato head was added to the kit. Still in the 1950s, the first complete Mr. Potato Head came out with a body and other small parts.

In 1973, the toy was redefined. The potato part was doubled in size while the other parts were made bigger to pass child safety standards. The accessories that came with the set were also increased. Soon the potato head was once again modified. You can now stick the accessories and facial parts wherever you want unlike the 70s version of the toy where the holes on the potato would only hold the correct body parts. Then in 2006, Hasbro thought of selling separate accessories that will dress up the Mr. Potato Heads already owned by their fans. These days, Hasbro has become more commercial and has been doing tie-ups with movies thus ensuring that their toy does not lose it popularity and cuteness.

If you are not convinced on how cute Mr. Potato Head is, check out some of its versions which I managed to gather from the net:

Potatoes for all seasons: Easter, Halloween and Christmas.

Working potatoes: Fireman and Red Sox Player

Potatoes for the couch potatoes:

Darth Tater, Spud Trooper, and R2D2

Spider Spud and the New Spider Spud with Venom

Optimash Prime

Indiana Jones: Taters of the Lost Ark

I also found photos of some custom-made potatoes:

Luigi Mario , Flash Spud

Iron Man , Hellboy

Perhaps if I had extra cash, I’d have my own real Mr. Potato Head collection. One that looks almost like this:

Ohh, I just love potatoes!

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